MICE Affairs Media Group, News Bureau, Special Feature 7th June 2023
A conversation with Rajeev Kale - President & Country Head, Holidays, MICE, Visa - Thomas Cook India on the company’s growing MICE business as well as Melbourne as an exciting MICE destination.
Thomas Cook’s approach towards MICE and how has this segment been performing?
witnessed brisk business from
our volume driver MICE business
- with significant growth of 711% in FY23 Vs last financial year and
85% recovery in FY23 Vs pre pandemic (FY
20). Our robust forward pipeline reflects a strong and
growing appetite for MICE travel in 2023 and beyond.
Cook India, we look at MICE as an ART (Art of Care, Art of Cuisine and Art of
Celebration) and believe in creating experiences through continuous innovation
and passion. Our objective is to ensure that all our clients, stakeholders, and
guests have the most memorable experiences possible.
discussions with our MICE Corporates for potential MICE destinations
more than a year in advance and they then launch their incentive
schemes for the next financial year.
has secured several incentive groups to Melbourne. Why is Melbourne a preferred
destination for corporate and incentive travel?
delighted that Australia is back on the radar and we have managed groups
for Melbourne - across sectors including insurance, manufacturing and
With a mix
destination also offers a wide range of hotels, meeting, and conference venues
for hosting events. Australia's fully digitised visa application process
with no biometrics and quicker processing time is convenient for corporates as
they are empowered by technology.
hotel staff and local residents are friendly, helpful and also very
is a vibrant and buzzing city with an abundance of exclusive experiences. The
regions of Victoria are short drive from Melbourne city giving the incentive
traveller easy access to iconic experiences like hot air ballooning over
vineyards, helicopter rides over dramatic coastlines, witnessing the phenomenon
of the Phillip Island Nature Parks’ penguin parade and so much more. What
are some key Melbourne and Victorian experiences that Thomas Cook recommends
for incentive groups travelling to Melbourne?
support from the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB), Thomas Cook India has
curated unique experiences as per preference of the corporates, such as
helicopter rides with 360° panoramic views and shopping at the famous
Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne with a customised food truck
experience. We have also curated gastronomic experiences such as cocktail
dinners at the hallowed Melbourne Cricket Ground otherwise known as the MCG, with
Australian cricket legends.
corporates seeking luxury experiences, Thomas Cook has successfully managed
premium groups with stays at luxury hotels like
Crown Metropol in Melbourne and stretch limousine drives.
In light of
sporting events like the cricket bonanza in Australia, we managed
corporate groups of 100-1000 travellers.
is known to offer some of the world’s best food and drink with its world-class
restaurants and cafes. Indian restaurants are widely available across the city
and Victoria’s regions making the destination great for Indian incentive
groups. How has Thomas Cook catered to this common request from corporates in
cuisine is always preferred by MICE corporates travelling from
India and there is ample availability of Indian restaurants in
Melbourne. Also, the provision of special visa category for meal
coordinators enables chefs to accompany the group from India to provide
authentic Indian food for large scale events.
has a tailor-made approach towards creating memorable incentive programs.
Partnering with the city’s leading business event suppliers, MCB’s dedicated
international incentive teams have a host of imaginative ideas to meet every
incentive traveller’s brief. What role has the Melbourne Convention Bureau
played in Thomas Cook’s incentive groups?
leads the acquisition and delivery of national and global business events for
Melbourne and regional Victoria. It offers financial support as per group
sizes along with complimentary offers for the group; and also advises, plans
and coordinates experiences, activities and sightseeing options for MICE
Melbourne remain a priority destination for Thomas Cook MICE going forward?
will continue to be a priority MICE destination for Thomas Cook as it
offers all amenities to host top level MICE groups and we are expecting a
robust pipeline of groups this year.
Connect with the Melbourne Convention Bureau for guidance and assistance in hosting incentive business in Melbourne.